Exclamation-Point Leadership

One of my former employees recently recalled some advice I gave the editors at our marketing communications agency: “You only get one exclamation point in your writing career. Use it wisely.” At the time, I thought I was quoting Tennessee Williams, but I can’t find any such remark from him. My search for the origin … Continue reading Exclamation-Point Leadership

My Glorious Lacrosse Career

The year I played lacrosse at Manual High School in Denver, the team posed for its yearbook picture holding beakers and wearing safety goggles. I’m not sure whose idea that was, or what connection existed between chemistry and an ancient Native American sport. Recently, when I came across that image in my Thunderbolts yearbook, my … Continue reading My Glorious Lacrosse Career

What Those Chickadees Are Really Saying

Writing, for me, is like lucid dreaming. I can get so lost in my imaginary world that my realities become inverted: My desk and laptop drift into a kind of haze, while the world I'm writing about becomes vividly present. It's kind of cool, really, and when I'm in a groove like that, I hate … Continue reading What Those Chickadees Are Really Saying

What Dogs Know About Wonder

It is said that human beings are distinguished from other animals by our knowledge of our own mortality. As far as distinctions go, that one kind of sucks. It does remind me, though, that we can learn a lot from animals—particularly dogs. They lead their doggie lives blissfully unaware they'll be garden fertilizer before too … Continue reading What Dogs Know About Wonder

It’s Not You—It’s That Hip Injury

You may have noticed I've been a little distant lately. It's not for lack of caring, I promise. It's odd. We've both stayed put but we don't connect like we used to. Sometimes I see you from a distance and it reminds me how long it's been since we spent time together. I get this … Continue reading It’s Not You—It’s That Hip Injury

The Delirious Art of Writing About Absolutely Nothing

When it comes to posting on my blog, I take my responsibility very seriously. I aim to post at least three times per week. I have a schedule that maps out five discrete but related content categories—or, as we call them in content marketing, pillars. I try to identify subjects that, while perhaps seen through … Continue reading The Delirious Art of Writing About Absolutely Nothing

The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

I need to get my shit together. It’s not quite an existential concern, but it is a problem of identity, and that wigs me out. No doubt there are support groups for this sort of thing. They probably meet in church basements and sit in circles, talking at each other with wild eyes and trembling … Continue reading The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

An Unbearable Brightness of Being

Graduate school gave me mixed signals about intelligence. Every now and then I try to sort them out. Thirty-five years after I earned my master’s degree from the University of Virginia, the nature of my own intellect remains unclear to me. For a long time, I wondered just what kind of "intelligent" I might be—and … Continue reading An Unbearable Brightness of Being

The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay

  Periodically, my friends ask me to tell one particularly embarrassing story—usually when the wine is flowing and they want a good laugh. I figure I’ll share it here: Doing so both exposes me as a bleeding-heart animal lover and states a very serious moral position. About 13 years ago, our 20-year-old rescue cat, Phoebe, … Continue reading The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay

The Over-Examined Life

I must have been about 14 when my father sent me to meet with our minister for some "counseling." By that point, I had already gone through a couple of phases in my spiritual development. When I was 10, I had a inexplicable surge of religious devotion; but when puberty gripped me, I moved away … Continue reading The Over-Examined Life